More about Grand Paradise Samana
A Nice and Peaceful Stay
The hotel, unlike the one we stayed at in Puerto Plata, was great. We would go back there. The pool area: large, clean and nice
Rooms: Clean and spacious
Beach area: Very well looked after. Large lawn, almost touching the seashore. Bars and restaurants at a close distance.
Service: Friendly and helpful
Other guests: They are mostly Europans, well educated and polite.
Other: they accept US dollars and Euros on paid activities.
DONT: pay for the DVD they make for you when you go on a QUADS ride, it's a rip off and not worth it. (yes, we bought it and saw how stupid it was when we got home and watched it!)
DO: bring your own gogles and fins, they lend you this equipment, but only for one hour.
All inclusive Hotel
A 2 weeks stay in a 200 rooms hotel...
Very nice and clean rooms (although some bungalows would need a little refreshment), with 2 queen size beds, hair dryer and small fridge bar in most rooms.
The buildings have2 floors, which means that if you are in the ground floor you can access through your window. 1st floor rooms have a balcony, while ground rooms get to the gardens.
The gardens are nice, there is a small "lake" next to the beach, tortles, horses, chickens and a peacock !
The 2 pools (1 for volley, 1 for swimming) are rather small and only 120 cm deep.
You will find chairs at the pool and the beach and towels are delivered for free and can be changed everyday.
Casa Marina Bay is a good choice for families and for people who want to have a quiet vacation ; the disco was often empty and nothing seemed to happen after the evening show.
Of course, there are various excursions organised by the hotel (Cascada del Limon, playa del Ricon, see the whales in winter...) but there is no real action going on in the surroundings. Also, if you don't need to have everything beeing organised for you, I'd recommend that you do theses excursions on your own (local taxis etc). Very nice and smiling staff, varied food (3 restaurants : 1 main, 1 snack bar at the pool, 1 snack- bar at the beach).
Morning : great fresh fruit drinks, fresh fruit (papaya, melon, ananas) and a whole variety of different breads, salted and sweet choices, minute maid omelets and crepes...
Noon : You can eat at the main restaurant (huge choices) or at the beach (chicken or fish on the grill + choice of salads, fruits and sandwiches) or at the pool bar : snacks and sandwiches
Afternoon : Don't miss the crepes at the pool bar !!! yummy
Evening : Main restaurant (great choices) or make a reservation for pasta-pizza at the pool restaurant or at the beach restaurant (1/week). Wine and "specials" will be charged in that case (I found it expensive... 35 $ for lobster... !)
Also it is not very big, nor large, beach is absolutely beautifull. Just like a postcard... and is surrounded by grass and palmtrees. The sand is incredibly thin and white, the beach on the way to Las galeras (a beautiful 10 mn walk by the beach) is gorgeous too...
because of the coral reef there is not much depth which can also be an advantage.
Last but not least, the extremely nice and dynamic teem of dancers who have a show every night (they have 14 different shows !). Everyone was admirative of the quality of the shows : choregraphics, costumes and general quality are very high !
Beautiful location, resort is average
Just returned from a week at the Grand Paradise Samana with my husband and my parents who are in their seventies. We had a wonderful, peaceful holiday.
Yes, the resort does cater to the French tourists, however, we never felt neglected. The staff is wonderful.
This resort is not ideal for young people as there isn't much night life, however, if you are looking for a lush, clean, simple, peaceful, resort, then you will not be disappointed.
The food selection is not great but reasonable. The mattress is a little hard and the pillows a little too small.
Keep all your valuables in the safe. I made the mistake of keeping a thin gold necklace (not very valuable) at the bottom of a bag with costume jewellery and it was stolen...whoever took it, had to empty the bag to find it, it was not visible. I did not want to report it as hard to determine who took it and I didn't want to blame the maid (many people have access to a master key).
We always felt safe. We got a fairly good last minute deal and at the same price, we would not hesitate to return.
Long Beach, Fun People, A Bunch of Minor Downfalls
I stayed at the Grand Paradise Samana Resort during the last week of December and it was great but there were some downfalls. For your information, the resort has two regular evening restaurants, well actually, menus, and the food wasn't that great. I had the ravioli one night and it made me sick. If I were to go back I would eat at the buffet every night.
We went on the tour to the National Park which is nothing special. The boat ride is more fun than the actual visit to the different islands. Even if you like history and seeing the cave carvings, it just isn't worth it. Probably the best part about my stay at the resort was just resting on the beach. The beach is long and beautiful, with lots of great seating. The swimming at the beach is okay (there is a lot of seaweed and rocks) so watch out! If you want to do some activities near the beach there is snorkelling, kayaking, and windsurfing available. I had a windsurfing lesson one day and it was great. It is definietly a plus to be able to speak some French or Spanish if you decide to come to this resort since most of the employees can only speak very limited English.
The people at the resort are very friendly. There is a coconut man who walks along the beach collecting and serving coconuts to the tourists, and he made the trip memorable. There were also many French tourists who were staying at the resort.
Finally, I recommend walking into the small town of Las Galeras which is pretty much connected to the resort by a trail along the beach. The town gives you a sense of the culture of Samana and there is also a great place that has delicious ice cream.
OK holiday but wouldn't go back
We stayed at the Grand Paradise Samana Feb. 4-11, 2008. It was an OK holiday, but I would not go back to Samana. A lush and mountainous area but not enough to do in the vicinity. If you like just a beach holiday, this would satisfy perhaps. Although the beach itself was not long, it was white sand and you could walk out a great distance into the water. There was some seaweed, but they groomed the beaches every day. Lots of chairs on the beach to choose from.
Best to take excursions based in the town Las Galeras, than to pay the high tour operator prices at the hotel. However the excursions were not spectacular. The day trip we took was a Safari Jeep Excursion, and a bumpier ride on an open vehicle I hope never to experience again. We opted out of the Whale Watching Tour because of cost and some negative comments, but one couple I spoke to at the airport going home really enjoyed it?!
The food was OK, better than Cuba, but I knew a couple of people suffered from ill effects from something they ate. Their mini-golf is a joke, but because it is, it made it fun. They quite clearly cater to the French tourists, from France & Quebec but I did not feel that I was excluded from good service as others say they were. Dominicans were friendly.
Some rain overnight & in the mornings but not enough to spoil the day. A long bumpy ride to the airport, about 1 1/2 hours. All in all just OK
Visited Many better resorts
To wrap it all up, if you want to go to a place and stay relaxed, you should go to Gran Paradise Samana. It does not deserve 4 star quality, 3 stars suits this resort more. There are many activites to do, but i warn you not to book anything OUTSIDE of the resort. The Island trips are NOT worth the money but Our family also went Atving and it was AMAZING. Make sure you bring some lollypops as you will see many children walking by asking for candy. The food was horrible at first but eventually we got used to it. There isnt much of a variety of foods, and i warn you to eat the meat with causion. Although tehre chicken is quite deliciou, It sometimes may taste old. You should visit the small town Las Galeras, about a 10 minute walk from the resort. The prices in the stores are much cheaper than the mini market in the resort. Horseback rdiding was also a plus and the people who work at the ressort are really friendly. The beach was breath taking, but there are many stones and rocks in the ocean. And if you want to go scuba diving, it is available for around 800 dollars which is extremely EXPENSIVE, in cuba you can go scuba diving for a couple dives for only 100 dollars so it is not worth it. At this resort, they do not use canadian dollars. Euros are mostly accepted, following american dollars and then Domincian Pesos. There are many french in this resort, and they do get better treatment then everybody else. Their wristbands are different colours and they even have a pool ONLY for the french. You will also notice if you order food, a french person will get delivered faster. The remoted hardly work, and it is not too much of a good thing to have an ocean vierw room as you are atleast 600 metres AWAY from the ocean.The entretainment was OKAY. Tehre were some nights that were hilarious, some nights that were interesting and some nights you could just fall asleep. Try avoiding the Zodiac show as it is the most boring thing you could watch in a life time. The weather was GREAT! my family was actually quite worried because the weather forecast predicted showers ALL week. We recieved rain, but only at night or early in the morning for about 10 minutes. The rest of the day was ALL sun. But i warn you, If you are used to be treated with REAL 4 star quality, do not go to this resort.
We have just returned from Samana,Grand Paradise! We stayed there for the first week of march.The weather was beautiful,the rooms were not that bad but we did have a problem with the towels.And we only had one key room witch was hard.The food was alright,like in every resort.The restaurant a la carte are not worth it,just stick to the buffet!There is a little village called Las Galleras where you could go shopping its cheaper.just a 10 min walk from the resort.The staff was really great but they mostly talked french because there was alot french tourist..and german .The beach was beautiful alot of chairs,there was a beautiful view of some mountains. In conclusion, this resort is mostly for families with little kids and for older couples.
Great Vacation, Beautiful Places, Best place for relaxation
We have just returned from a week at the Grand Paradise. After reasonable positve reviewes about this place from this website, I booked this resort. I was not disappointed at all and, of course, this place exceeded my expectations. We are 10 people including kids and elderly people went there and all of us very happy about the place,food and services.
They recently opened an international airport in Samana and it is now 11/2 travelling from airport. Since most of the people come from France and Germany, the people including staff are very little exposed to Canadians and english. We had some difficulties here and there in communication in English. I wish we know Spanish.
A short walk on the beach to Las Galleras, where shopping is not particularly cheap,but fun things to look at. We had some short trips including an excursion through the villages,mountain and very beautiful beach in Quads. It cost us US$65 per person. But worth for money. Horse riding for US$15 through mountain is also worth.
The room was also good and service was excellent. Giving US$1 per day to maids,bartenders and resturant staffs make big difference. We took some stuff from dollar shops for them. They were so happy.
All in all, We were happy that we had a nice,peaceful and memorable vacation
Wonderful Vacation Resort
We were very pleased with this resort. It was clean and the food was very good. I think some people forget that they are visiting a different culture and climate and preparing and keeping huge amounts of food fresh is always a challenge. The staff are very warm and engaging people. I got the distinct impression that they love their jobs and go way beyond the call of duty.
The resort is small and unpretentious yet beautiful in a tropical paradise kind of way. It is very comfortable and the amenities are plentiful. You can always find a nice spot at the beach or beside whichever pool you choose.
It was a great choice for a family vacation and my small complaints are the same as I have seen at other four star resorts. Lumpy pillows, no face cloths in the rooms and knives that wont cut steak. The food is sometimes over salted. The rooms are very spacious.
I was in Samana February 18 till February 25.....
It is not a 4 star hotel....but a 3 star hotel...
I have never been to a place where you only get one room key....I read some reviews before I left that if you talked nice to the staff you could get two keys..not possible... and there were people there with kids and found it hard to get around without two keys....the room key turned on the air conditioner, tv, lights
and when you left after 1/2 hr everything turned off....the tv only had two english speaking stations CNN and TNT.....the rooms were quite comfortable and there was lots of hot water in the a.m. and after 6 pm....
I agree with one of the reviews about the food.....stick to the buffet....the speciality restaurants were not great, steak terrible...
Now, the beach was wonderful and we spent a lot of time there..we walked into the town (10 min) and it was quite nice...
I went whale watching for $65.00 us and actually saw about 7 whales....I was suprised to see that many....and the tour gave us a little bit of time for shopping in Samana although we actually just stopped there for a washroom break....
I recommend this holiday if you need a good rest....I had just been to El Salvador in December and unfortunately this place did not even compare.....
Can anyone give suggestions of fun yet relaxing all inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic? Me and my friend are looking for a one week escape from the everyday life, and want to find a resort that has a fun nightlife, yet clean, beautiful, and with good food!! HELP!!
RE: Help Needed!
Hi. I have stayed at many resorts on the island, but have favoured the Iberostar Costa Dorada in Puerta Plata. The hotel is beautiful and the food is good. The staff are very helful and friendly. You are close to nightlife and the city, about a ten minute drive. Mangu disco located on Playa Dorada is the most popular place to party. You will see lots of locals as well as other tourists from neighboring resorts. There is also Crazy Moon and Hemingways nearby. If your interested in local nighlife there are a couple of places in the city. La Barrica and Orion play mostly latin music, but it's a fun time. Hope this helps.
RE: Help Needed!
Ocean Resort in Punta Cana...
Casa marina Bay in Las galeras ...
Take care of all resorts in Bavaro...very nice bay, sandy white beach, but all resorts are over 1000 rooms...some over 3000 and oneis a grour of 3 hotels, 5000 rooms...